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When you think of smartphones, Samsung and Apple usually come to mind thanks to the companies flagship devices, the iPhone and Galaxy models. OnePlus isn’t on many people’s radars, but the company is hoping its newest smartphones will put them in the discussion.
Tuesday (Mar. 23), the Chinese-based company announced its newest models, the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro. OnePlus’ devices are usually best known for their value, but for the 2021 lineup of smartphones, the company lets other companies know its smartphones are no longer just budget models.
The OnePlus 9 Pro flagship model is built to compete with Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max and Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra. The OnePlus 9 is a lower-specced offering that doesn’t give up too much to hit its more affordable price point. The OnePlus costs $729 and comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. For $100 more, you get a slight bump up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
The OnePlus 9 Pro doesn’t quite hit the $1,000 mark but offers 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for $969. If that’s not enough for you to bump that up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, it will cost you $1,069.
Like all smartphones, the camera is where all the energy really went into making this phone. OnePlus partnered with world-renown camera company Hasselblad for its camera system on the new phones. A product of the unique partnership is the OnePlus 9, and the OnePlus 9 Pro’s cameras will take photos that will have colors that have been more tuned to look more natural. According to the company, the 9 Pro and 9 ultrawide sensors are the biggest ever to ship on a smartphone.
The Ultrawide lens uses a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 sensor with an aperture of f/2.2. The main Sony IMX789 sensor on the 9 Pro has a resolution of 48 megapixels. The regular OnePlus 9 uses a Sony IMX689 sensor but, like the 9 Pro, also has a resolution of 48 megapixels. Both devices feature a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor and 16-megapixel selfie camera, but only the 9 Plus has an 8-megapixel telephoto lens.
For the more professional smartphone photographer, OnePlus has added a Hasselblad Pro Mode giving users, even more control over the settings and includes a focus peaking feature. As far as video, both models can record videos in 8K at 30fps, while the 9 Pro is also capable of 4K at 120fps.
As far as the screen, the 9 Pro features a 1440p 120Hz curved display that utilizes LPTO technology that can adjust the refresh rate between 1 and 120Hz depending on what is being shown on-screen that will reduce power consumption “up to 50 percent,” according to OnePlus. The haptics has improved and are more responsive while playing games, thanks to Hyper Touch. The screen can achieve a maximum brightness of 1300 nits and supports HDR10+.
On the OnePlus 9, the screen is downgraded and not as bright, only reaching 1,100 nits, does not use LPTO technology, and has a lower resolution of 1080p but still has a refresh rate of 120Hz.
Underneath both the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro’s hood is a Snapdragon 888 processor and bigger vapor chambers to keep the chipset cool and running longer. Both support Warp Charge 65T that OnePlus boasts will charge the 4,500mAh batteries to 100% in under a half-hour. The 9 Pro can impressively charge at 50W wirelessly, while the OnePlus 9 can only reach 15W.
The OnePlus 9 Pro comes in Black, Silver, and green finishes, while the OnePlus 9 will be available in black, light purple, and blue. Both models go on sale on April 2, with pre-orders beginning on March 26. You can see them both in action in the video below.
Photo: OnePlus / OnePlus 9 & OnePlus 9 Pro